A much improved second-half display saw Waterford finish their Munster Senior Hurling League campaign with a 22-point victory over Kerry in Austin Stack Park this afternoon.
Stephen Bennett scored 1-8 in Waterford’s win as they looked shaper in the second period.
Kerry’s Shane Conway matched his personal total, but Jordan Conway and Michael Leane were the only other Kerry players to score on the day.
Kerry did lead after five minutes after to Shane Conway frees made it 0-2 to 0-1 but five consecutive points had Waterford 0-6 to 0-2 up at the 20-minute mark after Neil Montgomery pointed for the visitors. Their lead was 0-9 to 0-3 after 27 minutes before Jordan Conway got Kerry’s first point from play a minute later.
A good break by Michael Slattery saw Kerry awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute which Shane Conway converted to make it only a two-point game.
A fourth Stephen Bennett point put Waterford 0-11 to 1-5 ahead at half-time however. Callum Lyons scored Waterford’s first goal in the 42nd minute as they started to pull away from the hosts with Bennett getting Waterford’s second in the 51st minute to give them a double score lead of 2-16 to 1-8.
Waterford’s third goal from centre-forward Darragh Lyons came almost straight after as substitute Dessie Hutchinson netted their fourth goal in the 57th minute.
Austin Gleeson and Mark O’Brien contributed 0-6 from midfield for the victors as well with Kerry goalkeeper Martin Stackpoole having to be vigilant to deny them on another few occasions near the end.
Kerry would have hoped for a closer final scoreline but they had no answer when Waterford upped their level in the second period as both will hope their players come through the various Third Level competitions injury free prior to the start of the League at the end of the month.
S Bennett (1-9, 5f, 3 ‘65’s), A Gleeson (0-4, 2f), C Lyons and D Hutchinson (1-1 each), D Lyons (1-0), N Montgomery (0-3), M O’Brien (0-2), K Power, S Ryan and C Dunford (0-1 each)
S Conway (1-8, 7f), J Conway and M Leane (0-1 each)
M Stackpoole: S Weir, B Murphy, E Leen; C O’Keeffe, M Boyle, E Murphy; S Sheehan, S Nolan; M Leane, F Mackessy, Colum Harty; J Conway, S Conway, M Slattery.
D Hunt for Leen (35 +1), D O’Donoghue for Nolan (54), D Shanahan for E Murphy (62), B Barrett for Harty and P Boyle for Slattery (both 66).
S O’Brien; S Fives, C Prunty, S McNulty; C Lyons, K Power, J Henley; M O’Brien, A Gleeson; T Barron, D Lyons, N Montgomery; S Ryan, S Bennett, C Dunford.
D Hutchinson for Ryan (H/T), C Gleeson for Henley and P Hogan for Dunford (both 48), M Kearney for Barron (56) and S Roche for Montgomery (65).
R McGann (Clare).